Jonathan Rea did all he could to ensure the title fight continued to race two, pulling off a victory in style.
Jonathan Rea was victorious in Indonesia as his title streak comes to an end with Toprak Razgatlıoğlu crowned champion with an incredibly exciting second place, pushing himself way over the limit of his riding and the window of his Yamaha very nearly crashing in places.
The race began with delays even before a wheel was spun after spots of rain appeared on the track leaving the surface wet and tricky, a decision to delay the start was taken which paid off as the rain ceased allowing action to continue with a sighting lap, Razgatlıoğlu very nearly crashing into T1 after getting it a bit squirrely.
Rea commenced the race with a rocket start blasting his way into T1 with a huge advantage from the lead as Toprak was swallowed up by the pack, this proved to be only a minor blip as Toprak made his way into third behind leader Rea and Redding in second place, this order not lasting with Scott Redding making a mistake allowing the Yamaha man through to sit behind Rea.
It wouldn’t take long for Razgatlıoğlu to close in on Rea like a hungry shark hunting his prey and with 18 laps to go the lead traded hands for the first time with the Yamaha arriving at the front, further back Axel Bassani wanted a piece of the cake after previously proving to be incredibly rapid in tricky conditions, he was making his way through the pack after moving past the BMW boys, then disposing of fellow Ducati rider Scott Redding, Rea in his scope.
It was the race lead Bassani had his target set on and he was stopping at nothing to fight for the win, overtaking Jonathan Rea and then the loose riding Toprak Razgatlıoğlu to gain even more vital experience at the front of a WorldSBK race, the youngster still only a rookie but showing plenty of signs that he will be a future star in the series.
The turn to be race leader moved to Jonathan Rea in third place, the now ex-World Champion marched his way past Toprak and Bassani to lead the race with Toprak further demoting Bassani back to third place, in this order the championship would be settled with Toprak the champion however there was plenty of drama yet to come.
Lap times were tumbling down as the sun came out into the sky drying up the track to the demise of Axel Bassani who would start to lose some positions eventually finishing the race in P5 behind Andrea Locatelli who took yet another P4 finish.
Rea was stretching the lead at the front of the field but Razgatlıoğlu was determined to take the title with a victory forcing his way through once again on lap 9 taking his gloves off with a hugely aggressive move. Rea knew from now he could push it further now that Toprak had shown his aggressive cards, the race leading position trading multiple times as Rea stormed his way through, the ongoing battle slowing down the lap times enough to tag Scott Redding in for a battle at the race win.
Redding didn’t have too much of a job attacking for second after Toprak made a rare mistake running off the track allowing Redding to go head to head with Rea, the pair aggressively battling it out for the race win allowing Toprak to close in more than a second, capitalising on a mistake from Redding with Rea determined to take the win.
Eventually the race would come down to the final two laps, Rea comfortably leading and Toprak putting absolutely everything on the line to try and win the race halving Rea’s lead in the final lap aiming to take the title with a victory, sadly it wasn’t to be for the Turkish rider, not that it mattered too much as he was crowned the 2021 WorldSBK champion to end the six year long streak of Jonathan Rea, Scott Redding rounding out the podium.
Finishing up in sixth behind Bassani was Michael van der Mark who had some strong early race pace in the damp conditions before coming home in sixth ahead of Alvaro Bautista and Chaz Davies, Tati Mercado taking an incredible P9 finish ahead of Tom Sykes.
Full results –
Featured image – Dorna